The Deeds of Blessed Francis & His Companions (1328-1337) - 484 

where Saint Francis was standing with the wolf. With this multitude of people gathered, Saint Francis got up and preached a marvelous sermon to them, saying among other things that such disasters are permitted because of sin, and that the consuming flames of Gehenna, which hold the damned for all eternity, are more dangerous than the frenzy of a wolf which can kill only the body; Mt 10:28 and how much one should fear being sunk in the pit of hell, when one small animal held such a multitude in such great fear and danger. "My very dear friends, return to the Lord and do worthy penance, and the Lord will free you now from the wolf, and in the future from the pit of consuming fire."

27 Then he said to them: "My dear friends, listen! Brother Wolf, who stands here before you, promised me to make peace with you, and he made a pledge of this promise: he promised never to hurt you in any way, if you promise to give him what he needs every day. And for this wolf I give my word that he will faithfully observe this pact."

29 Then everyone gathered with a great shout promised to feed the wolf consistently. In front of them all Saint Francis said to the wolf: "And you, Brother Wolf, do you promise to keep this pact, namely, that you will not harm any animal or person?" The wolf, kneeling with head bowed, clearly showed to all by the gestures of its body, the wagging of its tail and ears that it would fulfill the pact as promised. Saint Francis said: "Brother Wolf, I want you to give me your pledge on this, just as you gave me your pledge when I was outside the gate. So here before all these people give me a pledge that you will observe these things, and will not abandon me when I have given my word for you." Then the wolf lifted its right paw and, in front of everyone standing there, gave its pledge on the hand of Saint Francis, who had given his word.

33 And everyone's great amazement turned into rejoicing, as much out of devotion for the saint as for the novelty of the miracle and, even more, for the peace between people and the wolf. They all shouted to the heavens, praising and blessing the Lord Lk 24:53 Jesus Christ who sent them Saint Francis, through whose merits He freed them from the jaws of the terrible beast and brought them back from such a horrible scourge to peace and quiet.

35 From that day they kept the pact arranged by Saint Francis: the people with the wolf and the wolf with the people. The wolf lived for two years and was courteously fed, going from door to door, harming no one and not being harmed by anyone. And this is remarkable: no dog ever barked at the wolf. Finally, Brother Wolf grew old and died. The citizens grieved greatly at his absence, because the peaceful and




Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 484